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Demographic Outlook in Developing Countries
National family planning programs in the developing nations of Asia (ex-t for Taiwan, Korea, Hong Kong, and Singapore), Africa, and Latin erica have yet to reduce fertility quickly enough to curtail their rapid ulation growth significantly. The fertility declines in the four exceptions 2 led Freedman (69) and other optimists to predict similar successes for sr regions. Hauser (70), however, does not share Freedman's optimism. He eves that preconditions for the success of family planning programs ted in Taiwan and other successful regions. As a result of modernization, ility had begun to fall before the family planning programs were begun, quotes the United Nations population projections—present fertility rates lid yield a world population of 7.5 billion by the year 2000; the medium ant projection reduces it to 6.1 billion.*
dost developing countries are in an awkward situation. Their nationwide ily planning programs have operated for a number of years, but they have far been unable to depress fertility. However, these same countries have ntained great reluctance to accept abortion as a curative approach to a blem for which preventive measures alone have not been satisfactory. ;f fertility is not significantly reduced in the developing nations, the demo-Dhic and economic transitions will be seriously retarded. The demographic
(the gap between the death rate and birth rate) will be slow to close. It / even increase. The large family norm will continue. The emancipation of Tien will be delayed as women continue to be burdened with a large nber of children. Sustained high fertility will negate gains made in child-id survival by nurturing the disease cycle characteristic of poor home ironments (71)J [t is more likely, however, that individuals will not await official sanctions
will resort to abortion to relieve the demographic tension at the family :1. A serious problem is created, both for the women who run a higher risk complications and death and for hospitals and other health services which st cope with a large number of incomplete and often complicated pro-led abortions.
To illustrate the gravity of this situation, it may be helpful to discuss the nparative safety of legal abortion in various countries. Unlike illegal abor-is, those which have legal sanction are done under medical supervision.
nparing the Safety of Legal and Illegal Abortion
Current statistics indicate that abortion is becoming increasingly safer m a medical standpoint. There are, however, important differences in the
:See also Philip M. Hauser, "World Population: Retrospect and Prospect," in this line. See also J. D. Wray, "Population Pressure on Families: Family Size and Child Spac-
" in tin's vnlnmo.